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Germany to send additional Patriot air defense system, missiles to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova April 13, 2024 5:01 PM 2 min read
MIM-104 Patriot short-range anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles at Rzeszow Airport, Poland. July 24, 2022. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: This is a developing story.

Berlin will provide Ukraine with one more Patriot air defense system to fend off increased Russian attacks, the German Defense Ministry announced on April 13.

As Moscow intensified its attacks on Ukraine during the spring, the shortage of air defense systems in Ukrainian cities and villages is being felt more acutely.

Russia's recent strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure destroyed several thermal power plants across the country, including the Trypillia plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

Kyiv has ramped up its calls on allies to provide Ukraine with more air defenses, in particular, with U.S.-made Patriot systems that can intercept ballistic missiles.

"Russian terror against Ukrainian cities and the country's infrastructure causes immeasurable suffering," German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said.

The ministry said another Patriot will be handed over to Ukraine "immediately" in addition to the other systems already provided and pledged.

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President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, saying that Berlin had also pledged to deliver missiles to the air defense systems that Ukraine already has in service.

"This is a true sign of support for Ukraine at a critical time for us. I urge all other leaders of our partner countries to follow the example," Zelensky said after a phone call with Scholz.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to protect the entire country from Russian attacks, but Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he is for now focused on securing seven to protect Ukraine's largest cities.

Kyiv is negotiating with its allies to receive two additional batteries of Patriot and one long-range SAMP/T anti-aircraft missile battery, Kuleba said.

Initially a hesitant partner, Berlin has become Ukraine's second-largest military donor after the U.S., although Scholz is still reluctant to supply some key capabilities, namely Taurus long-range missiles.

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany has supplied Ukraine with 17.7 billion euros (around $19 billion) in military assistance as of April.

ISW: Thin air defenses may permit more Russian attacks on rear Ukrainian cities
The need to redistribute Ukraine’s already thinning air defense systems to protect heavily targeted cities such as Kharkiv may lead to routine Russian attacks on rear logistics and cities in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in their April 10 report.

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